• Laurel Contributor

Pizzazz & a Dash of Oomph

by Jenny King

Robin Armstrong Neil’s practically perfect Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie brings some welcome spice to a Thanksgiving staple that’s grown stale with the passing decades.

Robin Armstrong Neil has owned Whole Life Market in Highlands since 2004, so I thought she would be the ideal person to share a more natural holiday dessert than a frozen pie from Mrs. Smith.

Like me, Robin loves the fall.

“In addition to the crisp air, the nourishing, comforting foods and warming spices that fill our bellies at this time of year make this the best season,” she says. “And pumpkin! Fall brings pumpkin everything!”

Robin explained that while she is a huge pumpkin fan (it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, powerful antioxidants, and fiber), she was tired of the same ‘ole pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table.

It needed a little pizzazz and a dash of oomph and what better to do that, then with the bite of ginger.

Assume all ingredients are organic. Almost all of them are available for purchase at Whole Life Market, along with delicious natural, free-range and organic turkeys for your Thanksgiving table. Make sure to try the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie at Nectar Juice Bar, located inside Whole Life Market. So healthy and your taste-buds won’t know it isn’t pie!

Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie

(Makes 1 x 12” pie)


Gingersnap Crumb Crust

2 cups Ginger Spice Cookie Crumbs

½ tsp. Salt

2 tbls. Powdered Sugar

1 tsp. Ground Ginger

1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

2 tbls. Sweet Cream Butter


Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat and cook until it starts to turn brown. When it smells almost nutty, it’s ready. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grind Ginger Spice Cookies in a food processor until you have about two cups of crumbs. Add the salt, powdered sugar, and spices to the food processor and process until mixed.

Slowly add the slightly cooled butter and process until everything is moist. Portion crumb mixture in a 12-inch pie pan and use a cup to level and flatten the mix along the sides and the bottom, making sure to press firmly and evenly. Once the mixture is tightly packed, bake the crust for about 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Filling


1 Organic Pie Pumpkin or 1 cup Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree. You can use Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree, but Robin said making your own Fresh Pumpkin Puree makes a huge taste difference.

1 cup packed Sucanat

2 local Eggs

½ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Cinnamon

½ tsp. Ground Ginger

½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg

¼ tsp. Ground Clove

1 cup Heavy Cream

Topping Mixture:

½ cup packed Sucanat

½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 pinch Salt


In a mixing bowl, combine Sucanat, eggs, and spices. Whisk until well combined. Add 1 cup of fresh pumpkin puree and the heavy whipping cream and whisk until combined and fluffy. Pour filling into gingersnap crust, cover with tin foil, and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove pie after 30 minutes and sprinkle the topping mixture on the pie.

Return it to the oven for another 30-40 minutes until the pie is set and golden on top. Cool pie on a rack and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Place a metal bowl in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Mix all ingredients in chilled bowl using an electric handheld whisk on medium high speed until peaks begin to form. Place a dollop on each slice and enjoy!

The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

Email: info@thelaurelmagazine.com

Phone: (828) 526-0173

© 2020 by The Laurel Magazine of Highlands NC and Cashiers NC   |  1571 Franklin Road, Highlands NC 28741